White Top Laurel – Top to Iron Bridge, May 9, 2009

Got plenty of rain and by Wednesday White Top Laurel (WTL) was running high,  with14318 more rains on Wed. and Thurs., so by Friday the creek was +24″,  assuring that there would still be plenty of flow even after the rains had stopped for a Saturday run.  Bill H. c-1, John Van L. k-1 and myself k-1 settled on going to WTL and met up in Damacus Va. down near the take-out on Saturday morning.  WTL was running about +8″ on the local Iron bridge gauge and the usgs was showing 1850cfs on S. Fork Holston at Damascus which usually correlates pretty good as WTL is normally the key contributor.  This was an excellent flow.

We set our shuttle from the Iron Bridge take-out and just as we where leaving a couple showed up with boats, looking about like they wanted to paddle but did’nt know the run.  So we stopped and met Chad and Jennie both k-1.  As it turns out they where wanting to do WTL but where new to the run and didn’t know much about it.  After a little discussion we offer to have them join us,  which they quickly accepted. (more…)

Watagua Gorge – April 25, 2009

Darron P. and myself joined Will, Mike and Scott at Watagua Gorge on Saturday April 25th.  It was a nice late April day, with gauge level around 145 cfs,  so it was a low water run, but the best show around.  Sugar Grove gauge upstream was reading in the 145 cfs range, but  skies where sunny and we had temps into the 70’s so it was a great late April day for paddling Watagua Gorge. (more…)

Wilson Creek Gorge – Sat. 4/18/09 at -5.5″

12449Rains had come and gone early in the week but fortunately Wilson Creek held enough for a low but doable fun run.  With no particular plans,  I headed over to this gem of a gorge and looked around for people to hook up with for the day.  It wasn’t long before a couple of CCC’ers came along, Larry & Leslie S. and Wes all in k-1 so we through together set shuttle and headed downstream on this sunny and warm day.  Level on this first run was about -5 1/2″ (John’s River gauge around 300 cfs). (more…)

Easterchucky Run – Nolichucky Gorge – Friday 4/10/09

14152With rain recently the Nolichucky was starting to hold pretty good,  so several of us set a trip for Good Friday of Easter Weekend (which we have traditionally called Easterchucky weekend in our local paddling club).  Friday dawn a bit gray and overcast with forcasters predictions of heavy rains late evening,  but advising a nice sunny day till evening.  So met up at the takeout campground, arranged shuttle, and headed over the mountain to the put in.  Quickly putting on we where starting to wonder about our day, it was suddenly turning cold to the point you could see your breath, and we had just had a frog strangler of a downpour.   Well about the time we  started to warm up at the play wave just below the railroad bridge above entrance rapid,  the skies clear, sun came out, and it turned into a beautiful warm sunny day for early April. (more…)

Back Fork of the Elk – Webster Springs WV – April 4th, 2009

14069Darron P. and myself had been wanting to get out and get up into West Virgina on some new water.  This particular weekend was the Webster Springs WV wild and Wonderful Whitewater festival and the weather was putting rain down hard in WV Friday morning,  on Friday night we headed to the gathering.  On Saturday morning the Back Fork of the Elk had gone to over 7 foot overnight and looked like it was going to be around 6.8′ by the time we would get on joining a good size group from the campground. (more…)

Wilson Creek Gorge at 12″ – 3/29/09

Well,  Sunday 3/29 came and as I had missed due to other obligations paddling the day before on Saturday and missing good opportunities from rain at the end of the week,  I tookoff to Wilson Creek Gorge by myself thinking it was going to be zero or at most plus an inch or two.  When I arrived I ran into friends from CCC who where at the gauge.   Well all I can say is “Gulp, is that +12″ – Wow er’a Whoah”.   Well I had only a few weeks before done my highest run at around 8 to 9 inches.   Well the group decided to go for it.

Right off it was a different beast even compared to 8-9 inches.  Some of the early ledges it was very pushy to eddy out between without being blow down into to the next ledge,  12619 pushy was the word here.  However a couple of places were definitely easier.  At little Woodall everyone made sure to push hard right and hammer down and out the tongue,  this was not a hydraulic you wanted to end up in this day. (more…)

Nolichucky Gorge – Sunday March 22, 2009 – 1,100 cfs

13724Sunday 3/22/09 dawn bright and sunny with  modest but good flow on the Nolichucky from rains late the week before.  Water was crystal clear as it often is on the Noli.  I had spent the night at the Campground near Chestoa along the Nolichucky and waited for Knut R. from CCC who had posted on Friday looking for takers to run a trip.  Jim C.  had also responded and met up with us.  Knut, Jim, and myself all in K-1 set our own shuttle over in my van to the put in.  It was turning into a brilliant, beautiful day with decent late winter temps, though still a bit nippy,  not to mention the typical chilling late winter Noli water, so dress was still winter gear.

After shuttling over the mountain, gearing up, and setting off downstream,  we stopped and warmed up our skills for a few minutes at a little surf spot under the railroad bridge.  Then off down railroad/entrance rapid,  working back and forth, weaving the holes and diagonals, then cutting around the midstream boulder and ferrying back far left to catch eddies, then play the run out and hydraulics at the bottom. (more…)

French Broad section 9 – Bernard to Stackhouse

13546Saturday, March 21, 2009 brought an opportunity to paddle with several people from TRR (Triad River Runners).  Joining the group where Bob & Connie, Leanne, Mike H. and a couple of others in k-1 as well as myself in k-1.  It was looking to be a nice late winter day,  sunny but still a bit chilly, so dry suit and tops where the order of the day particularly as water temps where still cold. 

French Broad 9 – know locally as the “whitewater section” of the French Broad is run either in entirety from Benard to Hot Springs or a shortened run from ending at Stackhouse.  As it was still winter with short days plus chilly air and water we elected to run to Stackhouse.   We had plenty of water, though a modest to medium level. (more…)

Nolichucky 3/7 & 3/8 2009 – The rains arrive

13540Well, seems like it had been a long slow winter with limited rains.  March arrived and things where starting to pick up for 2009 at last.  Rains arrived enough to bring the Nolichuchy Gorge between Poplar NC and Chestoa Tenn up to good runnable levels with enought flow to provide a two day event for John H.-OC1, James C.-OC1, Bill H. K-1, Mick S. K-1 and myself in K-1.   Not only did we get a rain event but temps warmed into the high 50’s to low 60’s after some very cold winter,  though water in gorge was downright cold. (more…)